Douglas C.A.R.E.S., a nonprofit that aids child abuse victims through forensic examinations, mental health treatment and other services, has opened a new office in Canyonville.

Organizers hope the new facility at 115 Main St. will make it easier for families and children in rural areas to get the help they need when abuse is suspected.

Douglas C.A.R.E.S. Executive Director Mike Nores said people in rural areas have the greatest difficulty accessing services.

“So this is a good way for the services to come to the families and the children. We collectively made the decision that we will go to them,” Nores said in a press release.

Previously, Canyonville residents have had to absorb the expense of traveling to Roseburg, taking time from school and work in addition to the cost for fuel. Some have difficulty accessing reliable transportation.

“This office is going to allow us to serve south Douglas County and draw those families who are unable to get into Roseburg,” family advocate Shawn Hopfer said. “Our goal is to provide advocacy for the kids and families that need the help here. The more people we can reach, the better we are going to be.”

The facility will serve as the home office for Hopfer, clinical therapist Alexis Goff and skills trainer Kristi Taylor. Douglas C.A.R.E.S. provides assessments to more than 900 children each year. It is the county’s forensic interview and medical examination, and sees child abuse and neglect victims on a daily basis.

“Those numbers are growing,” Nores said. “More information is coming to light about abuse in the community. That’s going to mean that instead of the merely 20% of abuse reported, hopefully that percentage will increase and we can help more kids.”

Nores said the Canyonville expansion is the most recent addition to the organization’s network. It has also stared a women’s group in Roseburg and hopes to offer that service soon to South County survivors. It also has a skills trainer and counselor at Phoenix School.

“I would rather be closing our agency as all abuse and neglect no longer exists, but it’s not going to happen in the foreseeable future unfortunately, but if you think about kids and families that we can affect now, it’s going to save a large population of children, families along with the mental and physical wellbeing in the children’s lifetime,” he said.

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Senior Reporter

Carisa Cegavske is the senior reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213. Follow her on Twitter @carisa_cegavske

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